Impacts of land use and land cover changes on water resources and water-related ecosystem services: from assessments to solutions
Convener: Giulio Castelli | Co-conveners: Sofie te WierikECSECS, Tommaso PacettiECSECS

Land use and land cover (LULC) changes are one of the main drivers of change to hydrological processes, altering the ecosystem dynamics and impacting the production of water-related ecosystem services (WES) with different levels of societal impact. These LULC changes can emerge directly from anthropogenic interventions, or indirectly as the result of climate change. There is an extensive body of research investigating the impact of LULC changes on streamflow dynamics, but less so on other elements of the hydrological cycle (e.g. groundwater quantity and quality, evaporation and transpiration, soil moisture and rainfall interception) and associated ecosystem services. Changes to these elements can possibly lead to non-local and non-linear effects on ecosystem services, which need to be understood to inform effective and equitable water resource management.

This session welcomes studies that address the impacts of LULC changes on all water resources and hydrological processes, and associated WES, such as flood regulation, moisture recycling, temperature regulation, and food provisioning. Furthermore, beyond impact assessments, we welcome scholars that address policy options to mitigate harmful impacts on WES. More specifically, we welcome studies including, but not limited to:

• Advances in the quantification of hydrological impacts of LULC changes through modelling and experimental data, including water quantity and quality
• Disentanglement of LULC change impacts on all water resources (blue surface and groundwater, green water, atmospheric water) and associated WES
• Analysis and evaluation of policy interventions to mitigate impacts, such as ecological restoration schemes and nature-based solutions, with respect to their effectiveness and feasibility to protect and/or restore WES
• Advances in (interdisciplinary) methodologies for identifying WES, as well as studies highlighting spatial assessments of WES